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Timothy Olmsted, St. Paul Teacher Accused Of Discriminating Against Black Students, Sees Case Move To Federal Court
Sep-13-2012 496 0


Heights Community School parents have filed a lawsuit that is now moving to federal courts against the St. Paul Public School District in Minnesota, amid an investigation into allegations that teacher Timothy Olmsted discriminated against black students.

Olmsted resigned after the district placed him on paid leave in the spring after parents complained that he called black students "fat, black and stupid" and told them, "you will never amount to anything" and "you only have one parent.

The teacher also allegedly forced black students to sit in the back of the classroom, or sit with their desks facing the wall.

"He told the whole entire class that it is easier for him to teach rich white folks than poor black people," Tolbert told reporters.

Olmsted resigned in March, but is still being paid through the first week of October, and parents are dissatisfied. He is also not facing disciplinary action due to the resignation.

In the suit, parents claim that the district failed to protect their children from Olmsted, the Star Tribune reports. Latasha Tolbert, mother of 12-year-old Jamia Ware, said she made nearly 100 calls to school officials in the fall regarding Olmsted's classroom behavior, but the no one acted until January.

District representatives, however, tell the Star Tribune that an investigation was launched promptly and all complaints against the teacher were addressed immediately. Olmsted's attorney notes that the teacher "denies any improper conduct and believes that the claims against him are baseless."

But the educator has a record of controversy. The St. Paul School District reported in 2002 that Olmsted gave a sixth grade girl a birthday card with sexual innuendos, and requested that she read it to the class. He was also accused of giving a graphic description of castrating horses and throwing testicles into a field to feed cats.

For the various incidents over the years, disciplinary actions against him have ranged from written reprimands to days of suspension without pay. Students also find his more recent, racial comments strange.

"He would say random things like when I get out of the shower my dog dries me off," student Aylecia Ingram-Jones told reporters in a separate report.

Her father, Miguel Jones, has moved the teen to another school district, and asserts that there should be no question about whether Olmsted should be allowed to keep teaching.

"I wouldn't stand for it," Jones said. "Right is right. Wrong is wrong."

Minnesota does not have statewide regulations regarding disciplinary action for teachers, so process is followed based on district decisions and as outlined in teachers' union contracts.

The allegations in St. Paul are similar to complaints against Kathleen Pyles, a math teacher at North End Middle School in Waterbury, Conn., who was placed on paid leave in June while officials investigate claims that she addressed a black student with a racist remark.

Parents have accused Pyles of inappropriately calling a student "black boy" when she couldn't remember his name. When she first called the boy by the wrong name, he pointed out her mistake. So she responded, "How about black boy? Go sit down, black boy."

Parents are calling for her dismissal.

In another incident in March, a Virginia high school English teacher allegedly asked the only black student in the class to read a poem in a "blacker" manner.

Jordan Shumate, a ninth-grader at George C. Marshall High School in Falls Church, Va., says he was reading aloud Langston Hughes' "Ballad of the Landlord" when teacher Marilyn Bart interrupted him.

"She told me, 'Blacker, Jordan -- c'mon, blacker. I thought you were black,'" Shumate told The Washington Post.

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Alexis Stevens Nov-21-2014 84 0
An Atlanta doctor convicted of Medicaid fraud must repay $300,000 he stole from the state, the Attorney General’s Office said Monday.

In July, Nathaniel Johnson pleaded guilty to Medicaid fraud and aiding the unlicensed practice of medicine, The AJC previously reported. Johnson, owner and operator of Regency Professional Health Services for Women, was given a 10-year prison sentence, with the first six months to be served in the Fulton County Jail.

In addition, Johnson was ordered to surrender his medical license and to repay the stolen money.

At the restitution hearing late last month, medical professionals and state investigators presented evidence that Johnson stole more than $300,000 from the state Medicaid program, Attorney General Sam Olens’ office said. A state auditor testified that in some categories of billing, 100 percent of Johnson’s claims were fraudulent, according to Olens.

During Johnson’s trial, witnesses testified that he fraudulently double-charged for services rendered during pregnancies, overbilled for claims such as office visits, and failed to produce any documentation that some services were actually performed.

A review of Johnson’s bank account revealed that he spent money he had received from Medicaid to build other personal enterprises, such as Tulut Entertainment and a cosmetic surgery center, Royal Cosmetics, Olens’ office previously said.

Johnson also employed Jeff Romeus, a recent graduate of the American International School of Medicine in Guyana, as a doctor, though Romeus did not have a license to practice medicine.

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fox 8 Nov-21-2014 97 0
A man who spent almost 30 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit talked exclusively with FOX 8 News on Thursday.

“I was sentenced to die, as was Ricky and my brother. We were 17, 18, and 20. For a crime we didn’t do,” said Kwame Kamu Ajamu, of Cleveland.

Ajamu was once Ronnie Bridgeman and he’s now 54 years old.

“You have a young man who at 17, watched his older brother who was his idol, lay three cells over on death row, as we were sentenced to die,” said Ajamu.

He, along with his brother, Wiley Bridgeman, and friend Ricky Jackson, were convicted of murdering a man near University Circle in Cleveland back in 1975.

“I remember May 1975 as if it were five minutes ago,” said Ajamu.

And it’s all he’s thought about until Tuesday.

That is when a key witness, Edward Vernon, who was 12 at the time, recanted his testimony at a hearing for Ricky Jackson.

“I was putting in a fuel pump on my car with a friend when Ricky Jackson actually called me. That is me on the phone in the picture. He says, it’s over, it’s over. And so my brother, my friend, we are free,” cried Ajamu.

Jackson will be released from prison Friday after 39 years behind bars.

Wiley Bridgeman remains incarcerated.

Before he was Ajamu, Ronnie Bridgeman spent almost 28 years in prison.

“I was about 25 when I actually forgave Edward Vernon. Edward put me on death row for absolutely no reason at all. But Edward didn’t do that, he was a child at the time,” said Ajamu.

He went from death row to general population.

Due to good behavior and participation in outstanding programs, Ronnie Bridgeman paroled out in 2003.

He changed his name to Kwame Kamu Ajamu in 2005.

“I changed it because Ronnie Bridgeman was dead. He had died and it was over with. He was never getting out of prison,” said Ajamu.

Since then, Ajamu has gotten married and tried to resume life as a normal man.

“To this day, I still get lost. I have a GPS in my car. And this is my town, I was born and raised in Cleveland. I was in prison more time than I was actually in Cleveland,” said Ajamu.

He still keeps a close friendship with Kyle Swenson, a writer for Cleveland Scene, who published Ajamu’s story in 2011.

Swenson’s article was instrumental to the Ohio Innocence Project’s investigation that eventually prompted Jackson’s release from prison.

“This high I am on right now, I can’t even tell you. My hands are kind of shaking. And it has nothing to do with me. It has everything to do with Wiley Bridgeman and Ricky Jackson and to see them on on this side of the fence,” said Ajamu.

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Nancy Dillon Nov-21-2014 157 0
A predatory Bill Cosby, in a freaky Las Vegas hotel scene, allegedly assaulted another actress — who was forced to fondle America’s Dad in his luxury suite.

The naked Cosby was lying in wait before the 1992 ambush of model-actress Angela Leslie, a beauty who says she was targeted after sending the comedian a letter and photograph.

“The main thing I want is for people to know him for who he really is,” Leslie told the Daily News on Thursday. “He’s not this dad of America.”

After a driver delivered her to the hotel, she checked into her room before Cosby summoned Leslie to his place. When she spoke about her career aspirations, Cosby called for an impromptu audition.

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby has stayed silent as eight women have accused him of sexual harassment, assault or rape.
Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Comedian and actor Bill Cosby has stayed silent as eight women have accused him of sexual harassment, assault or rape.

“If you want to act, show me what you’ve got. Pretend you’re intoxicated,” she recalled he demanded.

The egotistical comedian then poured Leslie a stiff drink and told her to act like she was blasted on booze.

“I couldn’t drink it,” she recounted. “I tasted it and put it down. Then he asked me to go into the bathroom and wet my hair. . . . I walked back out, and he had removed his clothing and gotten into bed.”

Cosby began rubbing against the actress before pouring lotion into her palm and pulling her hand under the blankets.

“With his hand on top of mine, he had me massage his penis,” she said. “He masturbated with my hand. I wasn’t pulling back. I was in shock.”

She now assumes that the cocktail was probably dosed with something to knock her out.

She recalled that Cosby quickly tired of her — “I didn’t drink the alcohol, and maybe since I didn’t pass out, he decided to get rid of me.”

The despondent actress spent the rest of her Vegas stay alone.

“I felt so used,” she said. “I felt that he didn’t get what he wanted, and he threw me out. . . . He didn’t make me feel special in any way. He said, ‘Come here, put your hand here, do this.’ ”

The allegations from Leslie boosted the number of Cosby accusers to eight as the four-time Emmy winner continues to remain mum about the seamy allegations.

Cosby’s attorney, Martin Singer, did not respond to a request for comment.

Leslie, who had met Cosby about two years earlier, recalled an invitation from the comedian to visit him at the Flamingo — where the superstar stayed in his own suite.

Leslie, now 52, described a scenario similar to one related by another accuser, Barbara Bowman.

Other common threads emerged in the growing number of retellings: Cosby’s victims were all younger than he was, and six claimed the funnyman drugged them.

Leslie, of Warren, Mich., believes she narrowly escaped the same fate. She said she received two money orders for $700 and one for $800 with instructions from Cosby’s camp to travel to California. She got sick, however, and returned her ticket, she said. Two years later, she went to Las Vegas.

Bowman, who alleges Cosby sexually abused her starting at age 17, told a similar story.

When they first met, Cosby asked her to go into the bathroom, wet her hair and act like she was wasted on booze. Later, she claims, he fixed her a drugged drink and then raped her.

Registered nurse Therese Serignese recounted her tale of a Cosby rape in Las Vegas in a Thursday story on the Huffington Post, while the wife of actor and bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno claimed Cosby roughly kissed her at his home in 1967.


The alleged 1992 assault took place in a luxury suite in a Las Vegas hotel.
Peter Bischoff/Getty Images

The alleged 1992 assault took place in a luxury suite in a Las Vegas hotel.

Serignese said she was just 19 when Cosby met her in the Hilton gift shop and invited her backstage after his show. He then told her to take two white pills with a glass of water.

“The next memory I have was I was in a bathroom and I was kind of bending forward and he was behind me having sex with me,” she recalled.

Leslie said Cosby never called her again after Vegas.

Leslie first met Cosby around 1990 when she was hoping for a role in his movie flop “Ghost Dad.” The acting hopeful was personally invited to the set of “The Cosby Show” after sending him the letter and photo.

She wound up disgusted by the behavior of a man viewed by many — including Leslie — as a role model.

“Whenever I looked at Cosby, I thought he was a father figure,” she said. “I was in shock that he was that kind of (sick) person. I couldn’t believe it.”

The former actress, now working in logistics management, said she decided to come forward after hearing the tales of other women targeted by Cosby.

“I just feel he’s been too quiet, not saying anything, not apologizing,” said Leslie. “He’s trying to pretend these girls are lying. It’s frustrating.

“He is that type of person, a predator. It doesn’t matter your age, he’s going to put his hands on you and degrade you,” she said.

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ap Nov-20-2014 141 0
The suburban St. Louis police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown seems confident that he will not face criminal charges from a grand jury that has been investigating the case for several months, a police union official said Thursday.

Jeff Roorda, business manager for the St. Louis Police Officers' Association, said he met Thursday with Ferguson officer Darren Wilson, who has remained secluded from the public eye since the Aug. 9 shooting that sparked tense and occasionally violent protests and drew national attention.

Wilson has been under a lot of pressure and stress but appeared confident in the outcome of the grand jury investigation, Roorda said.

"It's fair to say that neither he nor his defense team expect an indictment," Roorda said, offering his impression of the situation based on the meeting with Wilson.

Roorda later told the AP in a text message that he was only speaking for himself.

"Wilson seems confident that justice will be served, but neither he nor his attorneys shared any expectations with me," he said in the text.

One of Wilson's attorneys, who also attended Thursday's meeting, said there was no specific discussion of expectations.

"We have absolutely no idea — no more than anyone else — what may or may not happen," attorney Neil Bruntrager said. "The only expectation that we would have is that the grand jury would be thorough and fair."

If he is indicted, Wilson will immediately turn himself in to authorities, Bruntrager said.

Wilson has been on paid administrative leave since the shooting.

A 12-person St. Louis County grand jury has been hearing evidence in the case as it weighs whether to issue charges against the white officer for the black 18-year-old's death. A decision could come soon, though authorities have not publicized any specific date for an announcement.

Roorda said St. Louis city police have been notified that they are switching to 12-hour shifts starting Saturday, a preparation for a potential uptick in protests.

The St. Louis County Police Department has not yet decided whether to switch to longer work shifts, spokesman Brian Schellman said.

For weeks, local and state police have been preparing for a grand jury announcement in anticipation that it will result in renewed protests. Earlier this week, Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard to help with security.

Authorities have said Wilson shot Brown, who was unarmed, following some sort of physical confrontation that occurred after Wilson told Brown and a friend to stop walking down the center of a street.

Wilson told authorities that the shooting happened after Brown struggled with him for his gun, according to reports by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and the New York Times that cited unnamed sources. But some witnesses have said Brown had his arms raised — as if to surrender — when the fatal shot was fired.

Riots and looting occurred a day after the shooting, and protesters filled the streets for weeks. Police responded by firing tear gas and smoke canisters into crowds of demonstrators after some people threw rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Protests have been nearly constant since the shooting. The vast majority of protesters want to see the officer charged with murder. Many are also pushing for changes in the way police and the courts interact with minorities. A handful of demonstrations have been in support of Wilson.

Benjamin Crump, a lawyer for Brown's family, described the investigation as an "emotional roller-coaster" for his clients. Even if Wilson is indicted, there's no guarantee of a conviction. And if he isn't charged, Crump said Thursday, "they get no chance of justice for their child."

Crump said he had no insight into the timing of the grand jury's decision, but that he expected to be notified ahead of any public announcement.

Wilson has incurred significant legal, medical and relocation expenses, and a police charity has raised close to $500,000 for him, Roorda said.

Associated Press writers Jim Salter in St. Louis and Eric Tucker in Washington contributed to this report.

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Nov-20-2014 128 0
The son of a slain St. Louis woman wants to know why a convicted double-murderer was released after serving only 17 years and is now accused of killing his mother.

"Someone's killed twice and they knew it and they let him out?" asked a weeping Martez Brown, whose mother, Sylvia Brown, was stabbed and shot last week, allegedly at the hands of her boyfriend, Harry Little Sr. The 63-year-old man had been sentenced to life in prison for the 1977 murders of two people — one of them his wife — but the Missouri Parole Board released him in 1995, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"I just don't understand," said the 37-year-old son. "You can't just keep killing people."

Little has been charged with murder in Brown's death. The 59-year-old woman's body was found in the backyard of the home she shared with Little, authorities said. Neighbors reported hearing a woman's screams on Nov. 13, followed by gunshots, the paper reported. St. Louis police officers discovered her remains the next day. Cops have not said whether they visited the home on the night nearby residents complained.

The reasoning behind the parole board releasing Little is not public information, the panel's spokesman David Owen told the paper Thursday. At the time of Little's parole, state law allowed anyone sentenced to a term of years or more was eligible for early release after 12 years.

That law has since been changed.

In 1977, Little confessed to shooting to death his estranged 26-year-old wife, Sharon Little, in her apartment. He was released on $10,000 bail, pending trial. A month after posting bail, he was charged with beating to death his friend, Hargrove Bunting, with a car jack. He was convicted of second-degree murder in both cases. He was sentenced to life for his wife's killing, and to 30 years for his friend's slaying.

After he was set free, Little went back to prison in 2000 when he violated the conditions of his release committing theft. He was freed in 2002, the paper said.

Martez Brown said he didn't know about Little's violent past. It wasn't clear if his mother was aware.

"My mother was a beautiful woman who gave her happiness for others' happiness," he said. "She didn't deserve that kind of torture, that kind of treatment. No one does."

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Nov-20-2014 187 0
Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson, who shot and killed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, is in the final stages of negotiations with city officials to resign, according to people close to the talks.

Wilson maintains he hasn't done anything wrong, and the resignation talks have hinged on whether a grand jury returns an indictment against him in the death of Brown, people close to the talks said.

Wilson has told associates he would resign as a way to help ease pressure and protect his fellow officers. Wilson has expressed concern about resigning while the grand jury was hearing evidence for fear it would appear he was admitting fault.

Wilson could announce as soon as Friday his plans to resign, the same day a St. Louis County grand jury meets to deliberate and possibly decide on an indictment.

The talks could still collapse, these people said. Wilson doesn't know what the grand jury will do and if they return charges he could change his mind.

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Nov-20-2014 138 0
A Houston attorney is suing the City of Houston and HPD after being handcuffed as a bank robbery suspect as he withdrew money at an ATM.

Dennis Spurling filed the lawsuit this week, alleging civil rights violations including racial profiling by Houston police officers.

The lawsuit stems from a November 14 incident. Two Houston police officers responded to an alarm inside the Chase Bank at 3003 South Loop West. Outside, they found Spurling, who is black. He had stopped at the ATM on the way out of the building where his law office is also located. He says he had his money in one hand and the ATM receipt in the other when he turned around to two men telling him to put his hands up.

"They were like ninjas coming out of the dark," Spurling told Eyewitness News.

The men then asked if he had a weapon on him. Spurling, who has a concealed handgun license told him he did. They took it, put him in handcuffs and had him sit on the ground.

"The situation was humiliating. It was insulting," Spurling said.

In his lawsuit filed in federal court, Spurling claims he was racially profiled and blames what happened on a lack of police training. He says the officers never identified themselves as police officers and didn't ask enough questions.

"My response would have been I was just going to the ATM machine and that's my name on the wall right there and I'm an attorney and I practice law here," Spurling explained.

He is suing the City of Houston, HPD, HPD Chief Charles McClelland and the two officers.

In response, City Attorney Dave Feldman sent this statement:

"We just saw this lawsuit for the first time this evening and we have to research the facts. From the face of the suit, however, it appears that the officers were responding to a bank alarm, at night, and plaintiff and his companion were the only persons at the scene when the officers arrived. There is nothing to indicate that the plaintiff was the victim of racial profiling."

As it turns out, the alarm was a false alarm. Spurling says the bank cleaning crew tripped it and the officers apologized profusely.

Spruling is suing for $4 million in both compensatory and punitive damages which he says he would donate to organizations that provide services to victims of racial profiling and wrongful arrest.
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Nov-20-2014 708 0
TALLAHASSEE, FL -- The man identified as the gunman in a Thursday morning shooting at Florida State University, Myran De’Shawn May, was a 2009 graduate of the Texas Tech University Law School according to the website for the State Bar of Texas. Police said May was shot and killed by officer after he opened fire on three people in the FSU library.

Three people were hospitalized. One of them is in critical condition according to CNN and another has recovered well enough to be released from a hospital. A third is described as “stable.”

“The suspect did not comply with the commands, and actually shot at one of the officers,” Tallahassee police spokesman David Northway said. “They returned fire, and the subject was killed.”

Also according to CNN, students took action by shoving tables and bookshelves against doors to barricade themselves. They also reached out to loved ones in tweets and texts, including Samantha Sillick, who messaged her father, “There's a man with a gun in the library. I love you.”

May had “no public disciplinary history” with the State Bar of Texas. The bar said May’s primary practice was located in Houston.

His last post on Facebook was November 18, and said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 5:3.”

A friend of May’s posted in the comments section of that most recent post, saying, “This is incredibly heartbreaking for all involved. My prayers go out to all who knew and loved Myron.”

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Angela Morris Nov-20-2014 231 0
Texas Southern University Thurgood Marshall School of Law is the most diverse law school in the nation, according to a study by The National Jurist magazine.

TSU Law administrators and students are "very happy" about being No. 1 for diversity, said TSU Law Dean Dannye Holley, noting that the school benefits from its diversity.

"It changes the tenor and nature of the classroom discussion because inherent in every class are a diverse set of cultures," he said. "I think it makes a huge difference in the blend of views that gets to a much more complicated and complex but more informed kind of resolution."

The National Jurist analyzed diversity among each law schools' students and faculties. It assigned a score based upon the percent of minority faculty and percentages of students who are African- American, Asian and Hawaiian, Hispanic, American Indian and Caucasian. A school would receive a low score if its percentage in a category were lower than the U.S. national average, and it would receive a high score if its percentage were higher than the national average.

TSU Law got an "A+" with a diversity score of 7.1. Its student population included: 48.1 percent African-Americans; 31.1 percent Hispanics; 5.8 percent Asians and Hawaiians; and 1.1 percent American Indians. Also, 78.9 percent of the faculty was minority.

Here are the other Texas law schools' grades, compared with 2012:

Baylor University School of Law: D+ (down from B-)

Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law: B- (down from B)

South Texas College of Law: A (up from A-)

St. Mary's University School of Law: A- (up from B+)

Texas A&M University School of Law: C+ (down from B)

Texas Tech University School of Law: B+ (no change)

University of Houston Law Center: A- (up from B+)

University of Texas School of Law: B+ (no change)


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